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Haven't built a system in a while. How does this look?

Last response: in Systems
February 20, 2009 12:24:21 AM

So, I'm operating on a grad student's budget and I haven't built a computer for a while, as in since an IBM 486, but have tweaked, modded, swapped stuff out, etc since my socket A. Haven't really had the money till now and I want to build a cheap gaming computer. I don't expect it to be able to run crysis on high, but I want to be able to swap parts out for better as it ages. I was wondering what people thought of this rig and if there are any problems you see:

Case: Raidmax Smilodon $49.99 AR + ~$25 shipping

PSU: Tuniq 650W SLI/Crossfire ready $46.99 AR + shipping

Hard Drive: WD 320GB SATAII 8MB Cache $49.99

MoBo: ASRock A780GXE/128M AM2+/AM2 $79.99

CPU: AMD 7750 Kuma 2.7GHz
RAM: Patriot Viper DDR2 800 $93.98 AR

GPU: Radeon HD 4670 $69.99 AR

Heatsink/Fan: ASUS Triton70 $14.99 AR

Thermal Paste: Tuniq TX-2 $4.99

OS: Vista Ultimate 64 Upgrade $0
I've read you can circumvent needing a copy of an OS present already by not putting in the activation code and thus loading it as a 30 day trial then installing it from there.

Total cost AR with shipping: $457.67

I'm willing on spending up to $500, but don't really need a tri or quad core since I'm not doing rendering or heavy Photoshopping (though I will do some). I do plan on overclocking the RAM and the CPU as I've heard they both overclock well and easily. I just want to be able to play Left 4 Dead, America's Army 3.0, and whatever other games I pick up along the way (deadspace, oblivion, whatever). Thanks for the help.

More about : built system

February 20, 2009 12:36:22 AM

Your motherboard supports 1066MHz ram, so ide reccomend getting faster ram.

Its decent quality ram and im pretty sure that it will work with your mobo, i know alot of Mobos have an issue running more than one sick of 1066MHz ram per DIMM, but thoes are 2gb sticks so should be fine. Other than that looks pretty good to me, personally ide upgrade to a Phenom 9600 black edition, but thats just me!

February 20, 2009 12:42:56 AM

Will 1066MHz RAM make that much of a difference? I was planning on overclocking the *00MHz to 1000MHz since I've heard it will go to 1000MHz 5-4-4-12 pretty easily.

How easily will the 9600 BE overclock? I figured it would be better to have a 7750 at 3.1-3.4 than the 9600 at 2.6, but I haven't really done much with a dual or quad core outside of my laptop.
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February 20, 2009 12:58:58 AM

Well its about the same price range to go to 1066 and its alot easier to OC, and if your mobo will allow you can OC it more to like 1200MHz, but then its unstable again. Im not an expert at RAM, it confuses the crap outta me, but ide go with 1066 cuz its ment to be OC'd to that, and it would be more stable.
February 20, 2009 2:16:48 AM

Anyone else have any thought before I buy?
February 20, 2009 4:58:13 AM

I'd put $30 extra dollars into your videocard and get at 4830.
February 20, 2009 6:46:55 AM

I'd put a ltl more and get a 4850 or a 4870 if ya wanna stretch that thing more.
February 20, 2009 3:43:41 PM

@OP, your initial build isn't horrible by any means, but it looks like you've cut some corners, maybe places you don't want to.
I agree with transmaniacon's suggestions, especially on getting a quality PSU. To make budget, consider an Antec Earthwatts 430 for $50; excellent quality, and very quiet.
Consider a 790GX board. I just used this one in a build, and like it:
ASRock AOD790GX/128M AM2+/AM2 AMD 790GX ATX AMD Motherboard - $105
Its IGP is a little better than the 780G; for example is capable of playing Guild Wars on reasonable settings (not all high) at 1440x900. It also has ACC, and may overclock a little better.
Here's another thought, that might save some money, although may take a little (a week's worth maybe) patience; ignore this if you are planning on playing Crysis, or other game you KNOW is demanding:
Don't buy a GPU yet. See how well (or badly) the IGP handles the game you want to play, and scale a GPU purchase accordingly. A 4670 might be enough, or maybe you'll want to get a 4850.
Otherwise, get the most you can comfortably afford. The Earthwatts 430 can power a 4850, even though it isn't the recommended 450W. That's because a) it's a quality PSU, and b) has plenty of amps on +12V.
For $5 more, this newer 320GB HDD shows better performance on the benchmark charts:
Even newer 640GB drives are supposedly even faster, but will add another $30.
February 20, 2009 3:50:43 PM

Oh, I'm pretty sure that L4D is quite playable on a 4760 (assuming it isn't a huge monitor). Since this is an easily upgradable part, you could go cheaper here to make budget, since you said you'd like to be able to upgrade later.
February 20, 2009 6:07:51 PM

Ok, I'm going with the Corsair memory and the Corsair PSU. I think I'll stick with the 4670 just for budgetary reasons. I don't need everything maxed out, and I'm pretty sure AA and L4D and most games (other than crysis) are very playable with it. I was thinking that one so when it goes down in price I could snag one cheap and crossfire. It might just be better to spend a little more on the 4830 so I could XFire it with any 4800...........I dunno.

Would it be better to go with the ASRock or this Biostar?

And is there really all that much difference between a HD with 8MB cache and 16MB cache?
February 20, 2009 6:58:12 PM

Onus said:

Its IGP is a little better than the 780G; for example is capable of playing Guild Wars on reasonable settings (not all high) at 1440x900. It also has ACC, and may overclock a little better.

What's ACC? I know the 790 boards are supposed to overclock a little better because of the AMD SB750 vs the 700 or the 600 and I hear they're supposed to run cooler. I just was trying to save a couple of bucks, but I guess I should go with the better one.
February 20, 2009 11:15:25 PM

Advanced Clock Calibration, which is the reason the AMD SB750 can OC a little better.
Of those two boards, I've only used the the ASRock, and it is running well. They should be similar. There's a rebate on the Biostar, but that's a crap shoot. As a user support specialist, I have a great deal of patience for many things, but not for rebate games; just tell me the price straight up.
February 20, 2009 11:26:55 PM

Thanks. Yeah, rebates are crapshoots, and for $5 I can take that board over the Biostar. I just wasn't sure how well the ASRock overclocked and I'd heard good things about the TForce series for overclocking. Thanks for the help. It's been far too long since I've done this and I miss it, haha.